As we announced a while back, BMW wants to give US Army vets a chance at a new life and, in collaboration with the Universal Technical Institute, launched the Military Service Technician Education Program today at the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. This program is the first of its kind, this being the first time a premium automotive brand has opened a workshop and training program for military service members directly on a US military base.

Classes for the first pilot group of nine students will officially begin on Feb. 26, 2018. The 16-week, BMW-specific technical education program features a specialized on-base curriculum and hours of hands-on technical training in a workshop setting. Students receive training on diagnostic paths and service technologies unique to the BMW brand. The program opens the door for transitioning service members to a promising future with the brand. Upon graduation, BMW assists the new technicians with employment at authorized U.S. dealers.

“BMW is honored to be working with the Marine Corps and helping provide service members with great professional opportunities to support their transition to civilian life,” said Bernard Kuhnt, President and CEO of BMW of North America. “The skill set these men and women will bring to our dealerships is invaluable. Aside from their unwavering team spirit and discipline, many are already highly specialized in some of the most sophisticated technologies, giving them all the right foundations for a successful automotive career. It is now our turn to serve them with MSTEP.”

“We are proud to host this unique transition opportunity for our service members,” stated Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Killea, the commanding general for Marine Corps Installations West – Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “Programs such as MSTEP help our transitioning service members prepare for a successful career outside of the military, and we are excited to see them progress through the program and find employment as BMW technicians.”

BMW MSTEP is an expansion of the company’s existing efforts to address the technician shortage. With nearly five million BMW Group vehicles on the road in the U.S. and access to skilled technicians still limited, BMW has invested in several initiatives designed to engage, attract, and find technicians for its network including the original technician education program known as BMW STEP.